Fire and Ice Young Adult and New Adult Books

Waiting For Dusk #1

Waiting For Dusk

by Nancy Pennick



"Waiting For Dusk" by Nancy PennickRead a book.
Fall asleep.
Meet a boy.

Is it real or just a dream?

Katie's everyday life suddenly turns exciting when she travels back in time and meets the boy of her dreams. Thinking of nothing else, willing to leave the real world behind, she's determined to find out if it's all a dream...or not. Returning again and again, Katie almost has her answers until one day her precious book goes missing.


 

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Romance
Fantasy
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Teens



Chapter One

 

Boredom, boring, bored. Kathryn Roberts couldn’t think of any more ways to say she was bored. Summer vacation was supposed to be fun. It was something everyone looked forward to and yet...she was bored. Katie sighed. She picked up her phone, looked for any new messages, and set it down. She strolled over to her desk and grabbed her laptop. As she flopped on the bed, Katie thought she heard a door slam downstairs.

“Katie! Katie! Are you home?” her mother called from the kitchen.

“Yeah, I’m home.” Katie ran down the stairs and collapsed on the sofa in the family room. Her soft, light brown hair flowed over the pillow. It had streaks of gold from the summer sun, and was showing a slight wave from the humidity that hung thick in the air.

“What have you been doing since I left?”

“Nothing, I’m bored.”

“Bored? Did I just hear you say that?” Her mother sounded irritated. “Well, all you do is stare at your laptop, stare at the TV and stare at your phone. When I was your age, I actually met my friends to do things. We went for ice cream, went to the beach, movies, you name it. We did things. I’ll give you bored. You’re bored of staring. That’s what it is. Go do something.”

“Easier said than done. Most of my friends are gone for the summer. Lindsey went to stay with her aunt at her ranch out west somewhere. Tyson’s at basketball camp. Jordyn is in China on a cool vacation, studying her roots with her two moms. And me? I’m here.”

Kate could tell her mother was gathering her thoughts and heard her calmly say, “We went on a vacation last year. If I remember correctly, someone said they would never go on a vacation with her nerdy parents again.”

“Okay, sorry about that. What I really meant was that it was hard to be cooped up in a car with your parents for three weeks. The Grand Canyon was worth seeing, I guess.”

Katie bounced off the sofa and gave her mother a hug. She knew she had to calm her down before she thought of some chore Katie could do.

“Apology accepted!” her mom stared into Katie’s blue eyes. “Thanks, Blue Eyes. Now you can help me with dinner.”

Katie rolled her eyes but didn’t say anything. She didn’t like it when her mother called her Blue Eyes, but kept quiet. Katie opened the refrigerator instead. “Just you and me?”

“Actually, no. I’ve invited Mrs. Johnson over for dinner tonight.”

Maya Johnson was the Roberts’ neighbor. They became close when Katie’s mom was a college student and Maya worked at the university’s library. Her mother spent a lot of time in the library and got to know Mrs. Johnson very well. They became like family.

 After college graduation, Katie’s mom married Jackson Roberts and moved away. A teaching opportunity opened up at the college so the family moved back home.

“So glad we moved next door to her. I know I was only three, but I remember how she baby-sat while you went to work.” She was excited Mrs. Johnson was coming over to break up the monotony of the day

The doorbell suddenly rang and she knew who it would be.

“I’ll get it!” Katie bounded out of the kitchen to the front door, opening it wide. “Mrs. Johnson!” Katie wrapped her arms around her and gave a quick hug.

She had always been like a grandmother to Katie. She called her ’MiMi’ when she was little. As she got older, her mother insisted on proper respect and told Katie that she should call her “Mrs. Johnson”. That didn’t make sense because they were family.

“MiMi,” Katie whispered in her ear.

“Child, I swear you grow taller every time I see you!” Mrs. Johnson’s brown eyes glistened. “You should be a model!” She walked into the house and through to the kitchen.

“Maya,” Joanna outstretched her arms, “So good to see you! How was your vacation?”

“Good to see you, too. My vacation was too short, just like all vacations are. Now I’m back to the real world of paying bills, cleaning and grocery shopping.”

She looked at Katie with a twinkle in her eyes, almost like she knew what Katie was thinking.

That is why Katie loved Mrs. Johnson so much. Even though Mrs. Johnson lived alone, she seemed to have a history that was fascinating, yet mysterious. She always told wonderful stories about how she and her husband traveled the country when they were young. They settled down in the house next door when Mrs. Johnson was expecting Carl Jr. He now lived on the California coast working as a marine biologist. Mrs. Johnson always took long vacations to visit him, and just got back from one of those trips.

“So how is Carl Jr.?” Katie’s mother asked.

“Looking more and more like his father every passing year, God rest his soul.”

Katie whispered the words with her under her breath. Mrs. Johnson looked at her and smiled. “So what have you two been up to while I was gone?”

“Mom is teaching a summer class, and I’ve been hanging out here at home with nothing to do. I guess I just got bored of staring.”

“Bored of staring?”

“Inside joke,” Kate’s mother quickly responded. “Plus you know Jackson is gone for most of the summer on business. We really didn’t plan a vacation.”

Katie really missed her father. Jackson Roberts was a world traveler with business taking him far and wide. He wrote books, lectured and went on many promotional tours. Most of his books were nonfiction, from self-help to nature. Katie didn’t have a clue how he got all of this knowledge and didn’t really care. She just missed him because he would have made the summer enjoyable. There had been no word from him in quite a few days. Her mom said he was either somewhere with no service or he let his battery die again. Nothing new for her dad.

Mrs. Johnson, Katie and her mom sat outside to eat their dinner. They laughed and talked until the sun began to set. Katie excused herself at that time. “If it’s alright with everyone, I’d like to go up to my room now. Glad you’re home again, Mi…Mrs. Johnson.” Katie stammered.

Mrs. Johnson chuckled. “Of course you are excused. Your mother and I need to make some plans to add some excitement in your life. First come over here and give me a kiss goodnight.”

Katie skipped over to Maya and hugged her tightly. Maya kissed her cheek and whispered in her ear, “Sweet dreams.”

Katie went upstairs, turned her TV on, grabbed the laptop and settled in for the night. Maybe Linds would call or Ty. That would be a bonus. Having Mrs. Johnson home for the summer was great because Katie didn’t feel so alone. She could visit her during the day and maybe she could look for a summer job. Not that she wanted a summer job, but it would fill the days with something to do while waiting for her friends to get back in town.

It was close to midnight when Katie’s mom came in to say good night. “Good night, sweet girl,” she said and placed a book on Katie’s nightstand. “Here’s something to read. It may help put you to sleep.”

“What is it?”

“Some romantic historical fiction. Just an old book I had. You loved to read when you were young, but I thought it was a little grown up for you back then. You’re just the right age to read it now.”

“Oh, thanks. Good night.”

She glanced at the book on the nightstand and went back to what she was doing. What am I doing?

She looked at her webpage every ten minutes, updated her profile and watched some dumb short films people posted online. She sent texts to her father, Linds, Ty, Jordyn and a few school friends plus planned her outfits for tomorrow. Katie looked at the book again.

She didn’t read books anymore. What’s my mother thinking?

Katie wasn’t really tired though. If the book could help put her to sleep, she’d give it a try. It was old but well taken care of. One could tell it was read many times as she flipped through the pages of the black leather book. Katie opened to chapter one and began reading.

Suddenly, there was a banging on her door. “Miss Kathryn, time to get up! You overslept. Get up!”

Katie turned over in the bed. Sun streamed into the room from the window.

Overslept? she thought. Was Mrs. Johnson calling me?

She got up, stumbled to the door and opened it. Although Katie was still groggy, she could tell something wasn’t right. She looked to the left, and saw a long hallway with three more closed doors on her side, and then a large open doorway to what looked like a kitchen on the other side. She looked to the right, and there stood Mrs. Johnson.

“Oh, MiMi...Mrs. Johnson! What’s going on?”

“I’ll tell you what’s going on, missy. You’re going to be late for work. And you youngsters have got to get my name right. It’s Mrs. Johansson. YO-hon-sen!”

Katie blinked. She turned and looked at her room, then gasped. It was very sparse: bed on a metal frame, a dresser with a pitcher and bowl on it and a braided rug on the floor.

I must be dreaming. She pinched herself. “Ouch!”She looked forlornly at Mrs. Johnson...Mrs. Johansson. She does look younger than Mrs. Johnson, Katie admitted and said, “Where’s the bathroom?”

Mrs. Johansson laughed. “You city girls.” She pointed down the hall.

“Which door?”

“The one that takes you outside, Miss Kathryn. Just keep on walking and you’ll see a little house. It’s called an outhouse. Does that ring a bell?”

Oh, yes. It rang a bell alright. Katie was in Girl Scouts for awhile, and went away for an overnight summer camp. The camp had an outhouse. After that trip, Katie was a Girl Scout no more. “Yuck!” she screamed.

“Before you go out there, go fill this up in the kitchen and put it in your room.”

Mrs. Johansson handed Katie the large ceramic pitcher. Katie decided to do as she was told. She went into the kitchen and saw a large pump over what appeared to be the kitchen sink. Mrs. Johansson stood in the doorway. “Start pumping,” she laughed.